Screenplay (1979– )
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Happy Since I Met You 

Frances is 28, single and happy, despite ritual interrogation from her family as to why she's not married. Then she meets Jim, and finds she has decisions to make.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Frances
Duncan Preston ...
Jim
Eileen Mayers ...
Neighbour
June Dixon ...
Schoolgirl
Rebecca Leach ...
Schoolgirl
Alison Attenborough ...
Schoolgirl
Kathryn Apanowicz ...
Judith
Christine Moore ...
Marie
Sue Wallace ...
Olwen
Louise Cullinan ...
Gemma
...
Karen
Barbara New ...
Mum
Jim Bowen ...
Dad
Marjorie Sudell ...
Auntie
Carol Leader ...
Mary
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Storyline

Frances goes to the launderette by herself, and undergoes the ritual Christmas interrogation from the family as to why she's not married. She is 28 and lives alone. She knows she can always have a bacon sandwich when she's depressed. And no one will move her washing-up brush off the third hook from the left. But when Frances meets Jim, decisions have to be made. Written by Anonymous

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Drama

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9 August 1981 (UK)  »

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Featured in What Did ITV Do for Me? (2005) See more »

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Bitter-Sweet Story of a Turbulent Love-Affair
26 December 2015 | by (London) – See all my reviews

The best of Victoria Wood's early career efforts for Granada's SCREENPLAY series, HAPPY SINCE I MET YOU focused on the burgeoning love-affair between drama teacher Frances (Julie Walters) and jobbing actor Jşm (Duncan Preston). Wood did not appear in front of camera this time, but her expertly worded songs punctuated the soundtrack at regular intervals, reminding us of the writer's uniqıe ability to express contemporary angst in comic form.

What made his episode so memorable was Wood's recreation of excruciatingly embarrassing events characteristic of all our lives - the Christmas family gathering where everyone receives presents they do not want, and Auntie (Marjorie Sudell) tells her relatives what she truly thinks of them, in the secure knowledge that no one will answer back. This sequence was also notable for an early appearance of Tracey Ullman as one of Frances's younger siblings. Wood also created comic capital out of the suburban dinner party, where liver was served as the main course: Jim hated it so much that he left it untouched on his plate and concealed it in his pocket so as not to seem unsociable.

HAPPY SINCE I MET YOU contains some wonderful lines, no more so than in Frances's put-down of Jim's snooty actor friends, including Ginny (Maggie Steed), who firmly believes that Frances is a frustrated actor, lacking the ability to "tread the boards" effectively.

Shot on location in and around Manchester, Baz Taylor's production captures the humdrum realities of the characters' lives, lifted only occasionally by the experience of true love, even if it has to be fought for. The final scene, set in a tea-shop reminiscent of BRIEF ENCOUNTER, makes us fully aware of this.


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